Instructions on how to write a paper in APA style format

Many years ago the American Psychological Association known as the APA came up with a set of rules and requirements as far as setting out papers is concerned. Now known as the APA style or APA format this method of presenting essays, papers or dissertations has been adopted by thousands of colleges and schools. The good news as far as students writing essays is concerned is that the rules of the APA style are set in concrete, are easy-to-follow and can be placed into your word processing equipment saving you a lot of time and effort.

If your educational institution subscribes to using the APA style then you will find it easy to locate numerous examples of essays written in this format. They are freely allowable online. Once you know the APA rules you can study the many examples and see how they follow these said rules. Here are two solid tips to help you master writing a paper in the APA style.

  1. Make a list of instructions on a single piece of paper and keep this with you at all times.
  2. With the software in your computer or tablet, set up the basics of the APA style so that they are the default position once you start to write your paper.

When you take an overview of the APA format you will see that it is really simply common sense. It basically has four parts.

A title page, an abstract or summary page, several pages of the actual paper, and finally a reference page. Now there are specific instructions for each of these four pages and knowing these instructions is vital.

You must choose the right size page to write your paper. You must have only 1 inch margin around every side of every page. On your title page you must obviously have the title but also your name and the name of your educational institution. When it comes to the words of the title if you have so many it will not sit on a single line, you must try and balance the length of the two lines. Where you place the information on the title page is also relevant. Not at the top of the page but in the top half of the page and always in the centre. This specific information is easy to find and easy to follow when you look at examples found in your college library or online.

When you are setting up the default settings with your word processing software, you also need to choose a common font such as Times New Roman and the size will be 12 point. You need to have a running header which appears on every page as well of course as the appropriate page number.

The length of the abstract or summary of what is to follow, which is actually page 2 of your paper using the APA style, will have a specific number or words. Double check with your teacher or professor to ensure you have the right number of words in your abstract. When you are writing the actual paper you will double space the lines. Whenever you include a quotation from somebody else's work in your paper, you will reference a quotation with full details on the final page of your paper in the references pages.

There are numerous examples of the full instructions on how to write a paper in APA style listed online. Take your time, notate these instructions and apply them where applicable.

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